Gorou the sea otter

common nameconservation status
Sea OtterEndangered (EN)
scientific namesize
Enhydra lutris♂ 1.2–1.5 m (4–5 ft)
♀ 1.0–1.04 m (3.2–3.4 ft)
familyweigh
Mustelidae♂ 22–45 kg (48–99 lb)
♀ 14–33 kg (31–73 lb)
orderlifespan
Carnivora♂ 10-15 years ♀ 15–20 years
class gestation period
Mammalia4–20 months (delayed implantation)
 population diet
106,000 worldwideLittle animals from the bottom of the ocean.
habitatrange
Coastal waters of 50-75 ft in depth, normally within 1 km (0,6 miles) from the shore.They are found in an arc around the North Pacific, stretching from Northern Japan to the center of Baja California in Mexico.

Did you know...

1.

They have the thickest fur of any mammal and they are one of the smallest marine mammal species. They use this waterproof fur to stay warm as, unlike other cold-water mammals, they don’t have thick layers of fat.

 

2.

They are capable of living their entire lives without ever having to leave the ocean; their nostrils and ears can close, and they can sleep while floating on the water because of their lung capacity: 2.5 times that of a mammal of similar size. They can also dive for 5 minutes.

 

3.

Sea otters hold hands while sleeping on the water or they wrap themselves in seaweed to keep from drifting apart.

 

4.

Male and females sleep in separate groups of 10–2,000 individuals.

 

5.

There are three subspecies: common sea otter or Asian sea otter, which is the largest; the southern sea otter, with a narrower skull; and the northern sea otter, that lives mainly in Alaska and British Columbia.

 

6.

They have ‘pockets’ under their forelegs where they store the food they gather on their dives to bring it to the surface.

7.

They are one of the few animals that can use tools. Sometimes they use stones to crack hard shells open.

 

8.

In the 1740’s, they were almost brought to extinction by commercial fur trade, reducing their population to only 1,000-2,000 sea otters.

 

9.

Leading predators include orcas, sea lions and sometimes sharks. Bald eagles pray on young pups.

 

10.

It is the only mammal that uses its forepaws to catch fish and not its mouth.

 

11.

Sea otters must eat daily 25%-40% of their weight in food to be able to keep warm. They consume over 100 different animal species, mainly marine invertebrates.

 

12.

They play a vital role for the ecosystem, as they eat a big amount of sea urchins (which feed on seaweed) protecting marine kelp forests.

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